Fish Tacos

There are so many versions of fish tacos out there and believe me I’ve tried more than my fair share. There’s nothing better than a deep fried crispy fish taco with a tangy coleslaw on top. Especially if it’s paired with a margarita and lots of sunshine. But, reality check, it’s February and it’s the time of year when we really need to shed those winter thermals (otherwise known as fat on the gut) and trim down our waste lines. This recipe will transport you to warmer times and deliver on flavor without all the guilt.

Ingredients

For the Fish: (this will make 4 good sized tacos, so 2 each)

  • 1lb of cod (it’s a nice white fish and much less expensive than Sea Bass or my favorite, Halibut)
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Olive oil drizzle
  • Yellow corn taco shells

Avocado Crema

  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Jalapeño (seeds and veins removed)
  • 1-2 spoonfuls of light sour cream
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt & Pepper

Coleslaw

  • 1/2 red cabbage sliced thin
  • 1/2 of white cabbage sliced thin
  • Cilantro
  • Juice of one lime
  • Little olive oil
  • Splash of apple cider or red wine vinegar
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper

You can buy a bag of pre-cut coleslaw to make it easier. I’ve used Whole Foods cabbage, carrot and beet slaw which is also great.  With the recipe above, you will have leftovers of the coleslaw which is great on its own as a salad or even better leftover the next day.

Directions:

Season your fish with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper (just a little cayenne if you don’t like spicy), lime zest, lime juice and olive oil. Let marinate in the fridge for 10-15 minutes while you prep your other ingredients.

Place your cabbage in a bowl with cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.

Using a small food processor, place all ingredients in for the crema- avocado, a bunch of cilantro, a jalapeno, lime juice, sour cream and salt/pepper. If for some reason it comes out too bitter, add a dash of agave syrup (or white balsamic) to sweeten it. I find sometimes if your avocado isn’t ripe enough, it needs it. Puree to combine.

Put your pan on medium/high heat and put fish in. Cook for a few minutes and flip. It won’t take long but it depends on how thick it is. When it’s solid white you are good to go!

While your fish is finishing, place your taco shell on the burner and brown. If you don’t have a gas burner, just heat it up anyway you like (in a pan, microwave, etc. I like the flavor of the char). 

Put your crema down first, then your fish and top with the tangy fresh cole slaw.

Eat and enjoy all the flavor and none of the guilt!

Here’s a snap chat video from the last time I made them.

 

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Cod Fish & White Bean Cakes

I want to say up front that the thought of a “fish cake” is really unappealing to me. But don’t let the name of this recipe prevent you from trying it.

We bought some fresh cod at Whole Foods and wanted to make something different than your typical pan-seared fish with lemon and capers. While fried fish and chips or fried fish cakes are delicious, they really aren’t something we should eat on a regular basis. I searched Pinterest for cod fish recipes and countless photos of golden brown, deep-fried fish appeared. The photos of these cod cakes, despite the fact that their name irks me, caught my attention. By substituting white beans for the potatoes and a pan sear instead of a deep fry, we cut a lot of fat and carbs from this dish–but we didn’t lose out on flavor. This recipe is a perfect compliment to a summer night and a glass of wine!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fresh Cod
  • 1/2 can white cannelini beans
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 2-3 stalks of celery
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 jar sweet pimiento peppers
  • 2 TBSP whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 2 TBSP Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 dashes hot sauce (I used Franks)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Oil to spray on pan (I use a mixture of 75% canola and 25% olive oil)

Instructions:

Put your fish in a pan with about 1/2 inch of water. Put the lid on and cook at a low boil for roughly 5 minutes so the fish turns white. You don’t want to over cook it, just steam it so you don’t have to sear your cakes until the fish cooks through.

 

Chop your ingredients.

Cod

Saute in a pan for 2-3 minutes. (Don’t forget to salt them!)

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Set them aside to cool.

Place your beans and parsley in a food processor to give them a rough chop. You want them to have somewhat of a pasty texture so it holds the mixture together (remember we are substituting for potato).

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Place all of your cooled ingredients in a mixing bowl (fish, beans and vegetables) with the breadcrumbs.

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In a separate bowl, mix the egg with the hot sauce and add to your fish mixture. It’s okay if you leave a little egg in the bottom of the bowl. (I used that later to brush on the cakes before cooking.) Mix gently so not to break the fish up too much. You want to see healthy-sized chunks of fish in there! (Or at least I do).

Form the mixture into patties and place in the refrigerator to let them rest. I suppose you could cook them right away but they may fall apart on you.

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I opted to brush the cakes with leftover egg and hot sauce mixture and sprinkled some extra bread crumbs just to form a nice crust on the outside.

Sear on both sides until you get a nice brown crust. Mine did fall apart a little, I think due to the fact that I didn’t purée the bean mixture well enough.

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Last minute I realized I wanted a dipping sauce of some kind. I took some reduced fat sour cream and threw in some franks red hot sauce and added some cut up chives. It ended up pairing great but whatever sauce you want to use is fine! A tartar sauce would work great, too. Enjoy.

Spinach Stuffed Filet of Sole

This is a very straightforward dish inspired by Italian flavors and made for the fish lover. It’s very easy to make and you can adapt the stuffing ingredients to whatever your heart desires! It’s also very healthy and satisfying.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pieces filet of sole
  • Fresh spinach
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp of whole wheat bread crumbs (optional)
  • olive oil for sauteing
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper
  • Tomato sauce (2 or so cups of your favorite!)
  • Fresh basil

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat up a pan with olive oil and add red pepper flakes to infuse the oil. Add onions and then garlic until translucent (3-5 minutes).
  • Saute the spinach and add the onion mixture and breadcrumbs. Cook for about 3 minutes and then set aside to cool.

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  • Lay your fish flat and season with salt and pepper. Divide your spinach stuffing into 4 parts (for the 4 pieces of fish) and spoon the mixture on the end of your fish.

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  • Gently roll the fish and place in the baking dish.

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Add your tomato sauce (enough to just cover the fish) and sprinkle with fresh basil.

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  • Cover your pan with tin foil and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.

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Baked Halibut with Roasted Garlic Brown Rice

Another dish my mom often made us growing up was baked halibut topped with Italian-seasoned bread crumbs.  It was one of the only ways I would eat fish growing up.  I still love it today! Halibut is a bit pricey so if you are watching your spending, any other white fish will do for this dish. We splurged because I really wanted it!

Also, if you have never made roasted garlic before, you are crazy.  It’s delicious and will make your house smell amazing. If you are having company it’s a great thing to stick in your toaster oven and have cooking.  Mix it with butter or olive oil and serve with bread at the dinner table. This will surely impress your guests!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Halibut
  • Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I’m partial to Progresso’s)
  • Whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • Fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 Lemon (juice and zest)
  • Paprika
  • Butter (I used whipped because it’s a little lighter and better for you)
  • Olive oil in your misto

For the Roasted Garlic:  Take 1 garlic bulb and chop the top half off. Place in a tin foil cup, drizzle some olive oil and top with kosher salt. Roast in the toaster oven on 300 for as long as you can. The longer you go the softer it gets and the more the smell will permeate your house and make your mouth water. (Mine is just writing and thinking about it).

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Place your fish on a baking sheet and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Squeeze lemon juice on top of your fish and add salt and pepper.  Use the zest of 1/2 your lemon.  
  • Chop up fresh parsley and mix with your Italian bread crumbs and whole wheat panko bread crumbs.
  • Top your fish with the bread crumb mixture.  Add some paprika on top.
  •  Spray with your olive oil misto.  Place a few small dollops of butter along your fish. 
  • Place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through. It depends how thick your fish is.
  • When it’s cooked perfectly the halibut will fall apart with the touch of your fork.  Serve with your brown rice!

For the brown rice:  Mash up the roasted garlic and stir into cooked brown rice.  I also added a few sprinkles of feta cheese, salt & fresh cracked pepper.

Enjoy!